Tuesday, February 27, 2007

This could be a fixation....

I was rummaging around in the stash looking for items to donate, when I noticed my stash of Cascade Fixation I bought some time ago when I found the Cascade Fixation Ankle Sock KAL

I loved the idea of cotton ankle socks that knit up quickly on size 3 needles (especially ones made out of only one skein)! I especially love cotton socks for after pedicures, etc... wool just seems strange to wear.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

A lack of willpower (and goodies)

I found out this morning that one of the yarns on my "to try" list is being discontinued in the particular colorway I wanted (Trekking XXL, color 107). I finally decided I liked it enough to order it, and went shopping.

I feel a bit bad about my lack of willpower but I've wanted that colorway since I started knitting. So I'm terrible at sticking to a yarn diet with discontinued items.

I received some awesome packages yesterday, courtesy of the exchanges I'm doing on swapbot.

This is handdyed wool (Cascade Eco Wool) in absolutely gorgeous rose, creams and greens. It's perfect for spring- it reminds me of flowers and gardens. I don't have anything like this and I'm going to really think this over before I use it. Thank you, Paula!

I also received a package from Singapore (!!) for my international sassy sock yarn swap. My swap partner sent me some Patons Patonyle, which is incredibly soft and the colors are really pretty. I know I'll enjoy wearing these socks! Thank you, Chrissie!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

How pretty!

The mailman was so kind to me today. I received a package from a friend with the cutest dishcloth inside (I think this is now the prettiest dishcloth I own- what a gorgeous pattern!) I also received a package from another friend with valentine's treats and a book I've been dying to borrow. Both were so sweet! Thank you!

I have set aside my Sockret Pal socks to work on the ones for Afghans for Afghans. I'm using Lamb's Pride and they are working up pretty quickly. I can probably (hopefully?) finish this pair before the end of February.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Calling all sock knitters

Afghans for Afghans is trying to collect 250 pairs of hand-knit wool children's socks by March 7, 2007. As of today, they have 53 pairs.

Here's the details

They've recommended worsted weight wool to make a nice, thick sock, and have a few patterns to choose from. The children's range in ages 7-18 years, and some of the older children can wear a small adult size up to a women's large.

I'm trying so hard to focus on my February pair of socks for my Sockret Pal, but I might go ahead and knit up a child's pair of worsted weight socks out of Lamb's Pride from this pattern first and then finish up Sockret Pal socks.

I'd like to say I could finish both pairs before Feb. 28 but my final projects for both classes are starting to loom over me. 3 more weeks!!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Saturday Sky

I am getting a bit tired of the snow and ice here. It's gone past pretty and now it is just plain dreary. This is my Saturday sky, which seems to be how it looks everyday.

Since my skies are grey, I thought I would add a picture of something blue in honor of Project Spectrum 2.0. The colors for February and March are grey, white and blue.

I found this pretty yarn tucked away in my stash- Lorna's Laces sock yarn, called Socknitters Winter Sunset. I love how the blues change against the white.

I finished a project for a dyer's swap- I tried out the new Knitpicks Bare yarn they just brought out- it's 70% merino, 30% silk. It's fingering weight, and enough for a pair of socks. The content and gauge is exactly like their Gloss yarn, and the silk content gave it a nice sheen. I'll be mailing that out on Tuesday, and once it has been received I'll post my pictures of it.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Sock progress (or lack thereof)

Well, I was making good progress on my socks for my Sockret Pal, until I noticed an inch back there was this strange hole in the space between my two circulars. I counted my stitches on each needle and sure enough, I had picked up a stitch. I tried dropping the extra stitch down and re-knitting the side stitches. But then I had extra yarn there that looked like a ladder. So I unknit, very slowly, and finally got back to the row where it messed up.

At least I am learning how to recognize problems and fix them with these socks! I've done the heel twice and now this. But the end result looks pretty good... it was a bit tedious but I was worrying about doing a lifeline and then ripping it back. So now I have a few more inches to finish before starting the toe decreases. Hopefully I can still finish these in February for my Sock a Month KAL.

Sweet Georgia is going on hiatus. I've heard wonderful things about her yarns and had hoped to try them on one of my allotted shopping sprees but maybe this will let me put a dent in my stash until she returns.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Secret Pal 10

1. a.What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
Currently, it's sock yarn. But overall, my absolute favorite so far has been Watermark, by Fiesta Yarns. It's amazingly soft, and was the type of yarn I had to stop every three rows to pet and sigh over. Other favorites include: Lorna's Laces, Cherry Tree Hill, Classic Elite Lush, Knitpicks Shine and Ambrosia, Lamb's Pride.

I have some Knitpicks Gloss and Lisa Souza sock yarn that I am dying to knit up- they are both incredible to the touch. I adore variegated colors and interesting textures, and have a preference for natural fibers, particularly alpaca, merino wool, wool/mohair or cashmere/wool blends.

I've only been knitting for a year and a few months, so my exposure to different types of yarns is limited- its one of the reasons why I enjoy the exchanges so much.

b. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I don’t like really harsh acrylics that hurt my hands, and I’m not fond of eyelash or novelty yarn. Some cottons are hard on my hands as well. Softer acrylics don’t bother my hands though, but I prefer natural fibers.

Texture and color are both very important to me.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
A plastic three drawer box, and my Options case. I'd love to be more organized in my knitting storage (needles and notions and stash) but I never seem to get to that point.

3. a. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn?
Dec 2005. Self-taught through internet (especially knitting help videos) and learned socks from DVD. I do better with visuals than just text.

b. Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
Adventurous beginner.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? There's a yarn-y wishlist in my margin, but its mostly to remind myself of interesting yarn as I come across it.

5. What's your favorite scent?
Clean fresh scents (cotton, linen), vanilla, lavender, cucumber melon, mandarin
Nothing too cloying, overly floral or sweet

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Please, nothing edible. I'm watching what I eat and need to avoid temptation at all costs.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I'd like to learn how to spin but that is quite a ways off. I have found I love dyeing yarn, though. I use the Jacquard acid dyes.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Yes, it can play Cds and mp3s. I like 80s music (Duran Duran, Madonna, Depeche Mode, U2 assorted long hair bands). Billy Joel and Rob Thomas. Garbage. Soft female singers like Loreena McKinnett, Sarah McLaughlin, Dido, etc. But not Mariah Carey or boy bands.

9. a. What's your favorite color(s)? I love rich chestnuts, wines, plums, blues, greens, dove greys, smoky blues, corals. I also love Caribbean colors, cornflower blues, aquas, clear greens, that sort of thing.

b. Any colors you just can't stand? I’m not a big fan of 70s style mustard brown or pea green in general. Yellows/Beige look terrible near my face. Neons (with the exception of bright colors on my ballband washcloths)

10. a. What is your family situation? Live with my best friend.

b. Do you have any pets?
We share Gypsy, who is our lab/springer spaniel rescue.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Hats and scarves.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?I've recently discovered socks and I'm hooked. This is my year of the sock.

I also enjoy knitting fuzzy feet and washcloths, and make baby items for various charities. I work fulltime and attend graduate courses in the evenings, so I like small, portable projects I can work on easily in the free time I can find... at least until July 2007 when I graduate (and finally get my weekends and evenings back again!!)

13. What are you knitting right now?
Socks for my Sockret Pal, and about to start children's socks for afghans for Afghans.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes, provided it is something I would use. I'd hate for someone to go through the trouble of making me a tea cozy when I don't drink tea, etc. I've not had that happen yet, thank goodness :)

15. a. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
Circulars (Options)
For socks, I use two Knitpicks Circulars.

b. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Nickel plated. Gypsy eats bamboo ones.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Yes, I have both. Next, I'm hoping to get a small niddy noddy.

17. How old is your oldest UFO? Irish Hiking Scarf from July. I just got burned out and can't seem to want to pick it up again.

18. What is your favorite holiday? The New Year. For me, it’s a chance to reflect, and renew my spirit.

Also, I'm a fan of International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Yarrrrr!

19. Is there anything that you collect? Recipes. Otherwise, I try not to collect anything that may someday turn into clutter (which can easily happen with me). I'll probably be moving once I graduate so I'm trying to keep extra 'stuff', including knick knacks, to a minimum.

I am a scented candle and lotion fanatic, though, and I never have enough purse sized hand creams.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I'm dying to try Apple Laine yarn
Otherwise, a pair of size 0's Knitpicks classic circulars
I never have enough small crochet hooks to pick up stitches, or tape measures.
I'm good on books, though.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Entrelac (so I can one day make a Lady E stole), and being able to follow more complicated patterns.

I'd also like to eventually move on to sweaters so a future project will be a couple of child/baby sized sweaters before I move into adult size. And learning how to use DPNs for socks, right now it is just awkward.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Size 8.5 Womens (US). I can be more specific in email if you tell me what you need to know.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) October 28

24. Extra: I'm earning my Masters degree in the evenings and work full time so my knitting time is primarily relaxation/stress relief, at least until July when I graduate. I don't have a local knitting group so the internet's been a wonderful way to talk with people who share the same interests I do.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Here's my awesome Scarf Kit I received:
- A cute plate with matching mug
-Ghirardelli Double Chocolate hot chocolate mmm!
- Some cute plastic needles (they got lost in my picture with all the yarn!)
- 3 skeins of this super soft wool/acrylic blend (Gedifra Fashion Trend Yarn) to make My So-Called Scarf . She included a print out of the pattern for me. The color is actually a deep cherry red with black, and oh-so-snuggly.
-2 extra skeins of a fun yarn that is bulky and shimmering to make a quick scarf out of

Thank you, Amanda! It's a wonderful package!

And here's the surprise (and formerly anonymous) gift from my fabulous Sockret Pal:

Custom painted "Needleplay" yarn from Scout's Swag! It's merino superwash sock yarn, and possibly the softest yarn I've ever felt for socks (and I've been squeezing quite a few!) gorgeous colors and like nothing I've ever purchased before. It is taking all my willpower not to cast this on right now. Luckily, since I'm trying to finish my current socks in February, all my circulars are tied up right now. (note to self: get more needles)

Martini Sock Blockers (with little extra martini stitch marker) from Scout's Swag. I have been trying to knit as fast as I can to finish my sock so I can put this to use!

Simply amazing. Thank you for making my week end on such a bright note!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Pictures to come this evening...

I feel behind as I lost most of yesterday to working with Clinique to help them out during gift, and then heading to our local spa for a facial, chocolate massage and pedicure. I knit during the pedicure which I think threw off the pedicurist- I'm not one to dish with strangers but I think she was expecting to chatter with me through the whole thing (as it was there was someone there having a manicure, and I heard about every illness that struck the manicurist's family since January and someone complaining about their job non-stop).

But I wanted to relax and the knitting was perfect. It helped me tune out the other people, and relax I did! Plus I successfully turned the heel on my sockret pal sock.

This morning's been productive, though. I just finished filing my taxes and am heading out for a bit to shop and enjoy lunch with a friend. And then a quick photo session of my mail goodies before working on my homework this evening.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Thank you.

I had possibly one of the worst days of my life today, and managed to hold it together until I left work about half an hour ago. I broke down and cried on the way home, and planned to take a hot bath and just go straight to bed.

I came in and found two packages waiting for me.
I'll take pictures tomorrow night when I'm a bit more clear headed.

One was from my scarf swap pal and she put together such a lush kit for me- super soft, deep red yarn to make "my so called scarf" and some fun yarn for a quick easy one. And Ghiradelli cocoa, with a cute mug and plate. It looks like a lot of fun! Thank you! I really appreciate it and the yarn you picked was gorgeous and so soft.

The second package was from Scout's Swag, with no note or anything identifying the sender. It had a specially dyed yarn called 'Needleplay' (and wonderfully squishy soft yarn it is) and the same sock blockers I have been coveting since they came out. (I had even looked at them today!) I was in shock. I still am. I have no idea who this package is from, and I hope that you let me know.

Thank you. I usually love getting gifts in the mail but today, of all days... you have no idea how touched I am. Thank you.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Knitalongs, Swaps

I've joined the Sock a Month KAL which should hopefully keep me on track to completing my socks and making sure I actually make pairs of socks, and not just random single ones. My goal is to complete 6 pairs of socks, one for each month from February - July. So my February pair will be my Sockret Pal pair, so that I can gift my pal with socks around the first of March in my final package/reveal to her. I'm using the basic ribbed pattern from my other sock knitalong (for novices).

Project Spectrum 2.0 started in February... the colors for Feb/March are blue, white and grey. In April/May, the colors are yellow, pink and green- I'm thinking the Watermelon Tourmaline sock yarn my sockret pal gave me will be perfect for that, and will also fit within my Sock a Month goals. I also have some green sock yarn I was planning to use for the informal green sock KAL, so I think I'm set. Although seeing how gorgeous this Fleece Artist colorway ("Rainforest") knit up into socks, I may have to set that aside for my splurge later on in the year.

My current swaps on Swapbot include a dyed yarn exchange and a scarf kit, both which end this month. I've found the pattern and yarn for the scarf kit. Now all I need to do is get the assorted goodies to accompany the kit (including a mug and hot beverages), and that should go in the mail tomorrow. I'm still deciding what direction to take with the dyed yarn. I'm also doing the international sassy sock yarn swap later this month.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Finally, some pictures!

My camera, finally, is working again!

I enjoyed my gorgeous Saturday sky (the first blue I've seen in about two weeks... lately everything's been in various muted tones of white and grey as it's snowed everyday).

While relaxing, snow and grey skies can also be depressing after a while. So the sun and blue skies are an instant mood lifter.

I also retrieved the pictures of the cute Knit Mit Kit Swap package I received from Terry-Jo. She made the cutest bag which has been really useful as I've been trying to bring my knitting to the office to work on during lunches . The yarn is a blend of Alpaca and Merino bulky yarn, with natural dyes. Sooo pretty! (thank you, again!)